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LCC Library

Library Research Toolkit

Need to do research and not sure where to start? This guide offers support to beginning and intermediate researchers with explanations about common processes, how-tos, and tutorials. Use the menu on the left to expand the options for each category.

Why cite?

Academic writing relies on several principals that distinguish it from other forms of information you may be familiar with. Academic writers use citations to:

  • demonstrate you have considered others' research
  • direct readers to additional information
  • establish credibility as a careful researcher
  • show professional honesty and courtesy

When you do research in a college setting, it is important to use proper attribution of the ideas you are exploring. This means using in-text citations for any direct quotes or by paraphrasing with attribution to the original source.

At Lane, two different citation styles are most popular: MLA and APA. Find more information about these styles below.

MLA / APA Citation Resources

Tools to create citations

Need help with creating citations? Try Noodle Tools.

Noodle Tools is free with registration using your LCC L-number.

Other free-to-access citation tools include:

MyBib is a free online citation creation tool. It can create citations and bibliographies in MLA or APA, and other styles. MyBib allows you to paste in a website URL or even search for a book, article, or other source by title, and will pull most of the information you need to create a citation (though you may need to double check that the information is correct and complete).

MS Word and Google Docs have Citation creators built into their software.

Many research databases (and the Library catalog) have tools to create citations built into them! Use the database Cite feature to generate a citation in the specific format you need. Be sure to proof-read the citation for accuracy before you copy/paste into your References or Works Cited page.

 

Annotations

What is an annotation?

An annotation summarizes the essential ideas contained in a document, reporting the author's thesis and main points as well as how they relate to your own ideas or thesis. There are two types of annotations: summative and evaluative.

Annotations are typically brief (one paragraph) but may be longer depending on the requirements of your assignment.

Check with your instructor to determine the citation format, length and the type of annotations you will be writing. Remember, the annotation should show that you have done more than simply describe the source.

An annotated bibliography can:

  •  help you read your sources more carefully. Writing an annotation on each source you use in your research will help you to read the material more closely and to think critically about the sources you are using and how they might be helpful (or not) in larger research projects.
  •  help you keep better track of your research. The annotation will serve as a note to yourself regarding each article or text you’ve read.
  •  provide additional information or background material for your reader, and will give your reader a better understanding of the topic.

Here is some information your annotation might include:

  •     What is the author's thesis or main points?
  •     Who is the author, what is their authority or background?
  •     Who is the author’s intended audience?
  •     What parts of the subject does the article emphasize or de-emphasize?
  •     Is there any bias or slant in the article?
  •     Are there any obvious omissions that seem important to the ideas being discussed?
  •     Does the evidence clearly support the author’s main point?
  •     What are the strengths and weaknesses of the article (critical evaluation)?

Examples of MLA and APA  styles of annotations can be found at https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/annotated_bibliographies/annotated_bibliography_samples.html Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL)

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